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Chapter 7

Can you still be successful after filing bankruptcy? (Bankruptcy attorney David Lozano answers, “absolutely!”)

Coming to terms with bankruptcy is a difficult process. If you’ve ever asked yourself, “how did this happen to me?” You are not alone! People have been asking themselves the same thing for decades. In fact, you may be surprised by just who has shared your exact sentiments!

After sampling several career choices that ended in failure, a man named Milton Hershey became an apprentice at a confectionery shop. At the end of his apprenticeship, Milton attempted to start his own business, yet that, too, failed, leading him to file bankruptcy. Fortunately, Milton found his calling as a candy maker and went on to form a business you may be familiar with–Hershey Chocolate Company.

Another case of celebrity bankruptcy was filed by none other than the founder of the Magical World of Disney, Mr. Walt Disney himself! Walt had his fair share of side jobs before he became the renowned man we know him as today. Walt’s interest in drawing led him to become a freelance commercial artist. He struggled for some time to make ends meet, dabbling in the area of animated cartoons.

Also during this difficult financial time in his life, Walt drew the first rendition of a character that would eventually change his life. He fondly bestowed the name of Mickey Mouse on the comical character he’d created. Despite all his efforts, however, Walt simply wasn’t able to get his drawing career off the ground and was forced to declare bankruptcy. Of course, Walt’s endeavors have a happy fairy tale ending that everyone can now enjoy!

It just goes to show you that no matter who you are, bankruptcy is a legitimate possible and is most definitely not an end-all! Contact me for your free consultation. Who knows, fame and fortune may be just around the corner! What wonders will you create with your fresh, debt free start?

David Lozano, Attorney at Law
Contact me today for a free consultation
800-974-5680/Se habla español

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Want to settle your debt and avoid financial roadblocks?

In my previous blog posts I told you a few reasons why I’m not a fan of debt settlement agencies. Today I’ve got another reason to share with you that involves taxes!

Don't get stuck by a financial roadblock. David Lozano offers his assistance!Taxes are a hassle without having to worry about any additional roadblocks in the process. Unfortunately, using a debt settlement agency is a major roadblock during tax time! The amount of debt you still owe your creditors, whether it has been lowered by a debt settlement agency or not, still counts as taxable income.

So not only are you still in debt, you have to pay taxes on your debt as well! The trouble doesn’t stop there, however. You may also be moved to a higher tax bracket due to your taxable debt. This means that you’d be paying a higher percentage of taxes on your entire income! Not to mention the back taxes that are sure to follow!

One way to avoid this complex mess is to file bankruptcy. You can qualify to discharge your debt, so the amount of debt you owe doesn’t count as taxable income. In other words, you don’t have to pay taxes on money that you don’t actually have!

David Lozano, Attorney at Law
Contact me today for a free consultation
800-974-5680/Se habla español

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What does a credit counseling service do? Bankruptcy attorney David Lozano reveals the truth!

Clalifornia Debt ReliefIn the blog prior to this, I revealed the truth about debt settlement agencies. Today I want to shed a little light on another service known as a credit counseling service. Now, perhaps you think I’m just partial to bankruptcy since I’m a bankruptcy attorney. Well, you’re right! Bankruptcy is a solution to the problem, not a temporary fix or way to delay the final decision of what to do about your debt. That’s the reason I chose the this job. I want to truly help people settle their debt!

So what’s so bad about credit counseling services? Instead of giving you a list of reasons why I think their service is a hoax, let me tell you the facts. Credit counseling services give advise (for a fee) about how to manage your finances by budgeting your money, paying bills in a prompt manner, etc.

The downside to this is that you’re probably already past the point where managing your finances would do any good. This kind of advise would have been useful before you were buried up to your eyebrows in debt. On the upside, it makes for good future reference– when they’ve helped you get debt free.

After the financial lesson, they try to negotiate with your creditors to get them to lower the amount of money you owe. If you’ve read my previous blog post, this might sound familiar. It’s the same thing debt settlement agencies try to do, the key word being “try”. Just as with the debt settlement agencies, there are no guarantees that the credit counseling service can lower your payment.

On the plus side, credit counseling legislation has recently enforced new rules about the criteria credit counseling services must meet to be exempt under Code section 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4). Some of the rules include, the service must meet the needs of the client and must charge reasonable fees. (To see more of the credit counseling legislation go to the IRS website at www.irs.gov.)

Incidentally, the Law Offices of David Lozano already enforce such policies and has done so for years! I consider these and the other criteria in the new legislation to be no-brainers.

If those reasons weren’t enough to convince you, here’s one more for you to take into consideration. There’s something crucial that bankruptcy attorneys offer, which credit counseling services do not. Bankruptcy attorneys can inform you about Chapter 7, Chapter 13, provide legal advise on all of the options available to you as well as offer financial management advise. Credit counseling services are not qualified to give legal advise!

Now that you know the facts, you will be able to make an informed decision about which service you choose to help you overcome the overwhelming debt you’ve been struggling with. Just to make things convenient for you, here’s how to contact me. Together we can get you debt free in no time!

David Lozano, Attorney at Law
Contact me today for a free consultation
800-974-5680/Se habla español

There are more options to tackle debt than you think! (Ontario Debt Relief Attorney David Lozano is here to help)

For many people, the reality that they are neck-deep in debt is a daunting realization. In cases such as these, the tendency is to avoid dealing with the debt by ignoring its existence, or at least the degree to which they are in debt. This strategy stems from not knowing how to properly manage their accumulated debt. Should they file bankruptcy? Take out a loan? Or wait for things to sort themselves out? Unfortunately such indecision oftentimes makes the situation far worse than it was originally.

Contrary to what people might hope, debt rarely (let’s be frank–almost never!) goes away on its own. One option is to file bankruptcy, but there are other alternatives to consider. You may wish to take out a loan. If you are simply having a slow year but expect things to pick up again soon, this temporary fix is a viable solution.

If you are a home owner, there is the option of refinancing your mortgage loan. Choosing to refinance a mortgage has its advantages, such as acquiring a lower interest rate, consolidating your debt, or paying down your loan faster. If you are considering refinancing your home, you can check to see if you qualify for a new loan.

Here’s the thing, however: You need to talk to a professional to make sure the option you choose is not digging the hole you’re in even deeper!

That’s why I urge you take advantage of our free consultation. Don’t forget: David Lozano is an Ontario, California, bankruptcy attorney who offers real guidance. I will discuss with you all the options available. Our goal is to make the process of getting you debt-free as easy and painless as possible!

David Lozano, Attorney at Law
Contact me today for a free consultation
800-974-5680/Se habla español

Why I’m writing a blog on bankruptcy

In my first two posts, I introduced myself and presented you with some recent news in the bankruptcy world. Perhaps it’s now time for me to share with you the purpose of this blog.

The main reason I am writing is that I know a lot of people have specific questions right here, right now, and they need help. (If you do not find the answer to your question here, I invite you to look at my main website. Or, better yet, call me and I’ll be happy to set up a time to answer your questions in person.)

I know also that, in these financially trying times, falling behind on bills can happen to anyone. Everyone knows someone who needs help. That’s why we’re one of the most referred bankruptcy practices in Southern California: people know they can send their friends and relatives here with complete peace of mind.

So maybe you have questions and concerns now, maybe you have someone you’d like to refer, or maybe you’re just curious. That’s all fine, and this blog is for you.

Now let me assure you in no uncertain terms, there is no shame in bankruptcy. Declaring bankruptcy is simply a way to put yourself back on the right track. It is taking responsibility by not allowing debt to run your life for you.

You have probably gone the extra mile and stretched your fair share of dollars at one time or another in your lifetime. It’s when your dollars are overstretched and creditors are still demanding more money that I offer my services.

Unforeseen circumstance happen, that’s a fact of life, and many of them come with big bills! You name it: medical bills for you or your family, an unexpected pay cut or a lost job, divorce, family crisis, a car accident that totals your car–anything can happen.

When the bills start piling up, you can take comfort in the fact that our practice is only a phone call away! I guarantee that after your free debt consultation, things will look a lot more manageable and a lot more promising!

David Lozano, Attorney at Law
Contact me today for a free consultation
800-974-5680/Se habla español

New Rules for Debt Settlement Companies

As a Southern California consumer bankruptcy attorney, I have spent the last 18 years helping people get out of debt.  I understand the strain that my clients feel, and I consider it my duty to warn them against debt relief options that will not help.  Masquerading as consumer counseling services, debt settlement companies promise to settle consumer debts at a fraction of the money owed.  This is simply not the case.  Thankfully, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has recently taken measures to reign in the bad business of debt settlement.

 Due to overwhelming complaints to the Better Business Bureau in 2009, the government agency that brought you the Do Not Call List is back with more protections for the American consumer. As of Monday, September 27, the FTC began Phase I of revisions to the Telemarketing Sales Rule. This latest action by the FTC is an attempt to keep consumers safe from the abusive practices of debt settlement companies.

According to Jon Leibowitz, Chairman of the FTC, the Monday telemarketing reforms are part of sweeping FTC policy revisions “to combat consumer abuse by fraudulent debt relief companies.” As of Monday, the new rules, in addition to prohibiting them from outright lying, require debt settlement companies to share information they previously kept hidden— for example, how long a settlement will take and how much it will cost the consumer. In addition, debt settlement companies must let potential clients know that settlement will lead to a drop in their credit and may expose them to future lawsuits.

Phase II of reform goes into effect October 27, 2010 and specifically bans debt settlement companies from collecting fees before “at least one of the consumer’s debts is settled or significantly reduced.” The FTC is acting in response to debt settlement company practices of collecting monthly fees without producing significant results. Rather than helping American consumers achieve peace of mind, debt settlement companies have cost them large sums of money in fees, and led to further legal action on the part of creditors. The rules change next month, but beware: debt settlement companies will scramble to collect as many fees upfront as possible before the October 27th execution of Phase II.

Debt settlement is currently illegal in Arizona, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, West Virginia and Wyoming.  And, because debt settlement companies are for-profit, most will cease practice after the FTC change on October 27th, citing the advance fee ban as prohibitive. But the consumer will not be left out in the cold. Consumer credit counseling services are available for guidance, and Chapter 7, and 13 bankruptcy are proven means to achieve financial stability and the peace of mind that comes with being debt free.

About The Law Offices of David Lozano alc

A law firm that specializes in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases.  The firm is affordable, has payment plans, can immediately stop creditor phone calls, lawsuits, wage garnishments and foreclosures, as well as deal with the frustration of loan modifications.  The firm represents consumers, small businesses and corporations.  It should also be noted that Attorney David Lozano is not just a regular bankruptcy attorney, but is one of the few Board Certified Specialists under the new bankruptcy law.

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